The Instigator
SolidTony77
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
WAM
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Cannabis Legalization

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
WAM
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 384 times Debate No: 76266
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

SolidTony77

Pro

Cannabis should be legalized completely and not just for its medicinal properties, but because it can be used for many things such as rope, plastic, paper ,clothes ,and many other uses. I can see a high probability that cannabis will also help the economy.
WAM

Con

Kind regards for posting this debate.

In this debate I will argue on the legalization of Cannabis on a con point of view.

As you did not provide a definition, I will provide one, Cannabis being defined as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis, all indigenous to central and south Asia.
As you have also stated the rudimentary production of materials using Cannabis, or more specifically called hemp, shall be called hemp while the sort of cannabis used for drug use shall be called marijuana. I propose this for general ease of debate and am sure that you see benefit in this.

Pro however did not provide sources or evidence but based his opening statement on opinion, thus making it virtually useless.

Opening Statement:

In recent years there has been an up-flaming debate about the legalization of cannabis, due to the criminalization of Cannabis in 1937 in the U.S., following a trend of the use of cannabis due to it's psychoactive ingredients, such as THC.
Many people seem to feel that cannabis should be legalized, due to marijuana being the most used drug after coffee, alcohol and nicotine, as well as economy and health.

I am however strictly against this trend. It seems like the majority of legalization supporters seem to be very uninformed about cannabis and its use.

Hemp has been used for centuries, notably even being imported to south America in 1545 for use as a fiber.
The cannabis legalization groups seem to be very unaware of the use of hemp in modern society, leading me to dismiss most of their claims as to cannabis usage for material, as it is already done. Hemp is used for a wide variety of products, such as paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, construction, body products, health food and even bio-fuel. The world production of hemp fiber fell from over 300,000 metric tons 1961 to about 75,000 metric tons in the early 1990s and has after that been stable at that level due to an increase of demand for artificial fiber and product. (Lynn Robins et al.: Economic Considerations for Growing Industrial Hemp:Implications for Kentucky"s Farmers and Agricultural Economy, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky,July 2013). This is still around 75000 tonnes per year used for fiber, not for marijuana use, this hemp also being legally produced.

The reason why I am stating this is because the cultivation of cannabis for the use of hemp is legal in many countries, such as: Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine. The majority of these plants are low in THC, as the cannabis sorts used for marijuana are typically low growing and as such would not be profitable. Also note, that many people would not even know that they use, own or know a product that uses hemp. But just as an example, here is a list of some of the car manufacturers that use hemp in composite panels for automobiles: Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Iveco, Lotus, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Saturn, Volkswagen and Volvo. Just as another example, the Mercedes C-class, a around US$40000 car uses up to 20 kg of hemp. (Green Cars, Fuel Efficiency and the Environment | Mercedes-Benz)

The reason why I shared this information is because I want to display that hemp is well used in our everyday life and legal, and as such does not contribute to any argument of the pro legalization side as to cannabis being able to be used for so many ways, as it is being used, note, being used legally, grown legally and sold and possessed legally.

As such it seems to me that the majority of the pro legalize population is not informed or does not want to be informed out of different reasons. As I have already shown, the production of hemp is heavily dependent on demand, and as current demand is rising, rising as well as such the argument of 'more usage potential' falling away from the pro legalize side.

It thus seems to me that the pro legalization side is seeming to act out of different motives than legalization due to hemp usage, which is legal, but due to the usage of cannabis as marijuana and as such a drug, and seemingly is just looking for justification.

Note that an estimated 4% of the adult world population uses cannabis annually (280 million) which is not such a grand percentage. If you now note that only an estimated 0.6% uses cannabis daily (42 million). This is a tiny number compared to the overall world population, but note that a great part of those 0.6% are part in the legalization movement. In the U.S.A. according to estimates 7.3% use cannabis monthly or more often (23 million). (http://www.pewresearch.org...)

One of the grand arguments of the pro legalization side are medical benefits. They do however not note that "Most of the research involves marijuana or its individual psychoactive compounds administered in carefully measured doses", 'its individual psychoactive compounds' meaning parts like THC (http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu...). This thus does not mean what the majority of the pro legalization wants, to go out and smoke. In fact, I would argue that no serious doctor nor researcher would suggest for anyone to 'hit it up'. I will not deny that THC has medical benefits, but a legalization of medical THC will not have any benefit for your average stoner, who seems to be the main guy in the debate, as the medical THC is normally introduced into the body in controlled measurements, meaning methods like syringes. Smoking is not correct administration as it cannot be measured, and I will call anyone who thinks that puffing a joint has medical benefits an idiot. Furthermore I would like to note that the controlled administration of THC and other cannabinoids would most likely not get you 'high' and as such ruining the dream for the pro legalization group of 'smoking weed all day, getting high and saying it's for health'.

To make it clear, the usage of marijuana, as it is fact that a cancer patient is less likely to be administered cannabinoids (they would definitely not smoke them) than a teenager who takes the walk to his local dealer and then gets high and does it to get high, and no other reason, is proven to cause Schizophrenia, memory loss, cognition impairment, bronchitis and many more. As to the argument of smoking cannabis being safe compared to cigarettes, this is incorrect as the tar in cannabis is very similar to the tar in cigarettes. It is also noted that around 9% of users who experiment with cannabis become dependent on it, with 42% of heavy users experiencing withdrawal symptoms, as such making the very common and loved statement of cannabis not being addictive factually incorrect.
(http://www.webmd.com...)
Note that the number of dependents who start as teenagers is 1 in 6, with daily users being one quarter to half, a disturbing fact when it is scientifically noted that these teens are known for poor academic achievement, reduced connectivity in specific brain regions associated with memory, learning, alertness, and executive function. To say it, although not politically correct, these people are more stupid than non cannabis users, based on science.
(Volkow ND, Baler RD, Compton WM, Weiss SR (2014). "Adverse health effects of marijuana use". N. Engl. J. Med. 370 (23): 2219"27. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1402309. PMID 24897085)

As my last point, the legalization of cannabis suggested here is most surely for its marijuana use, and as such I will calculate the apparent economic benefits accordingly. I will however subtract any potential usage of hemp, as marijuana, which is the main reason for legalization and hemp are not connected. In my opinion hemp should be allowed as a crop in the U.S. due to actual economic reason, while marijuana should be not. It should also be noted that China is the prime producer of hemp with 79% of productions world wide and as such would create a huge, largely disadvantaged rivalry for the US. Nevertheless I will use the calculation from this website, pro legalization. (http://norml.org...)
The possible, maximum gain according to the source would be US$26.7 billion. If I calculate 10 billion off of this due to the hemp industry, which is partly unrelated or would be unrelated, this leaves 16.7 billion. If we note that 9 billion of this is due to "Enforcement Savings", we have to note that this enforcement saving will go on other costs, such as mental health as a result of increased marijuana usage. Further it should be noted that a legalization would cause a possible drop in production rates because everyone knows that you can't really work when you are high. Also it should be noted that the increased amount of legal marijuana would mean an increase of heavy smokers, especially in teens and as such creating future 'dumb' generations, again lowering production as well as general economy. Thus this could quite possibly mean a decrease in economic profit, and not an increase, and as such not being profitable.

In conclusion I am against the legalization of cannabis, as the reasons for supposed legalization are not in the benefit of the US. Saying this, I would be for the use of correct medical usage by medical professionals in a 'non green form' which would mean not for smoking, and only in needed and proven beneficial cases. Hemp legalization might have a benefit on economy, if only slight, and as such would also be beneficial.
But the legalization of all cannabis would be not beneficial. Marijuana is proven dangerous and being the main focus of the cannabis debate, cannabis should most definitely not be legalized.

Kind regards, I am looking forward to your reply, WAM.
Debate Round No. 1
SolidTony77

Pro

I apologize if I am not completely clear on this for this is my first debate on this website.
The way I see it is if no one is getting hurt from it then why not legalize it?
My side is of this is Pro marijuana/Cannabis all the way.
Cannabis=Marijuana(i don't understand the confusion it all still comes from the same plant).

There has never and never will be a documented case of marijuana overdose. Marijuana has been used for millennia since 7000 B.C. Alcohol prohibition didn't work so why would the cannabis prohibition work? Marijuana prohibition is a waste of our hard earned tax money. If marijuana was legalized our government would save Billions.

Marijuana isn"t harmful if used correctly, it"s not lethal, and most of all there is a plethora of uses for it medically. You would have to smoke 20,000 to 40,000 more than normal which is an obscene amount. and if you get medicated and fall asleep chances are when you wake up your not medicated anymore so these drug testing laws do more bad than good too since many lose their jobs to this.

There is absolutely no good reason to prohibit marijuana; Americans deserve the freedom to choose what they want as long as they aren"t hurting anyone. Marijuana is not for everybody. There are many drugs that are more dangerous than marijuana. Some of these drugs are Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, acetaminophen, and synthetic marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is an abomination to society it actually kills people. If marijuana was legalized these deaths would decrease. A lot of teens and young adults resort to doing these still legal alternative drugs that are dangerous because they can say "well it"s legal so it"s okay right?" No it"s not okay its harmful and the prohibition is responsible. The already illicit drug use will decrease too because people can use marijuana instead which again never killed anyone.

Marijuana prohibition also has led to many deaths just for possessing it plus its responsible for the prisons" ever rising population. It costs taxpayers $30,000 per year to throw someone that just had marijuana on them in jail. Its a failure and a waste of money.

Here"s something from one of my sources:

"Regulating marijuana like alcohol would put street dealers out of business, would make marijuana dealers pay taxes, and would restrict sales to adults only. Prohibition does not make it difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana. Tougher marijuana laws have not reduced marijuana use. Marijuana use has increased every single year since 1991."

Many people like myself grew up being forced into D.A.R.E.(drug abuse resistance education) and ever learned anything about the drugs because they are illegal its hard for people to learn real facts. All they did was teach us to be repulsed by them. My point is people need to be educated so they know what they should and shouldn't do making it illegal doesn't help it at all.

In the early 1900s the people had a problem with Mexican immigrants; marijuana was brought with them. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, between General Pershing's army and bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, negativity towards the Mexican immigrants developed between the small farmers and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the Great Depression came and increased that negativity toward the Mexicans as jobs and welfare resources became scarce. one of the main differences was the marijuana that they brought with them. It was through this that California had passed the first state law outlawing the "preparations of hemp, or loco weed." and because the Mormons went to Mexico in 1910 they came back with marijuana and the churches didn't like it . In Texas, the senator said on the floor of the Senate: "All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff is what makes them crazy." This may have had an influence on marijuana indirectly from peoples beliefs leading to the paradigm of marijuana today being that if you smoke pot your a lazy dumb retard that's useless to society which is false those individuals are not being controlled by it they're making their own choices. Cannabis/marijuana should be legalized for it is an outdated law and has no legs to stand on anymore.

I hope i was clear and didn't leave anything out

here are my sources:
http://www.mpp.org...
http://brucealanblock.com...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.pot-heads.com...
http://www.drugwarrant.com...
WAM

Con

Thank you for your reply! Welcome to the DDO, I hope you are enjoying this debate.
The reason why I made a difference between Cannabis and Marijuana, though Marijuana is always Cannabis, Cannabis is not always Marijuana. It makes it simpler with terms if we just call the whole thing Cannabis, the drug plant Marijuana and the product plant Hemp.

Rebuttal:

Pro's opinion on the topic seems to be that no one is getting hurt by Marijuana use. As I have displayed in my opening statement, smoking marijuana is harmful, it can cause cancer and is scientifically proven to cause things like Schizophrenia, memory loss, cognition impairment, bronchitis and many more. As it also is proven, teenagers using marijuana are actually comparably dumber than their non-smoking counterparts. This means that Marijuana does indeed cause harm, thus making a statement of 'no one is getting hurt' incorrect.
Having concluded this, I will immediately get into one of pros later points, that people should be allowed to use Marijuana if they are not hurting anyone. This might be correct in theory, but they are hurting themselves, causing mental health issues. Now, even if we assume that it would not be wrong to hurt yourself, we still have the issue that when you hurt yourself you are indirectly hurting the people around you, family, friends and society in general. Thus meaning that Marijuana causes harm. Just to add a fun statistic, Colorado, pre legalization had a road accident fatality % of 7% involving Marijuana while post legalization had a % of 16%. Over 100% increase. I do not think this is a coincidence.. Especially if considered that there was a 14.8 percent decrease of road fatalities during the same time! Furthermore, marijuana users are twice as likely as non marijuana users to have suicidal thoughts. (http://www.rmhidta.org...)

As I have pointed out, a marijuana legalization would most likely have a negative effect on economy. I would have no problem with hemp legalization, but I do have a grand problem with Marijuana legalization, as this would not have any positive impact. There might be a decrease in enforcement fees, though you would not see that money as it would be spent on things like hospital visits due to marijuana (Colorado experiencing a 82% increase of hospital visits due to marijuana), decreased workforce (Drug-related student suspensions/expulsions increased 32 percent from school years 2008-09 through 2012-13, the vast majority were for marijuana violations, this will affect the workforce), more vehicle accidents, substance abuse help, higher crime rate ( crime in Denver increased 6.7 percent from the first six months of 2013 to the first six months of 2014, In 2013, 48.4 percent of Denver adult arrestees tested positive for marijuana, which is a 16 percent increase from 2008). This seems to all come back to us, hitting the U.S. with a decrease in economy, not an increase as quoted by so many pro-legalization supporters. Colorado's statistics once again support this.

Next up is the well favored argument that smoking marijuana is not lethal, nor harmful if used correctly. Statistics regarding schizophrenia, decreased capabilities as well as cancer beg to differ. Also stating that smoking marijuana is not lethal is stupid. I could say that speeding is not lethal, what kills you is the crash. It is the stupidity that kills you, not the action. If someone is high and crashes their car, was it lethal then? Or was it the car accident that killed them? Think about it, if they weren't under the influence they most likely would not have crashed. Thus rendering this incorrect.

As for the next point, that there is a large numbers of medical uses. Yes, that may be correct, but the number of disadvantages is higher than the number of advantages. Furthermore, this statement "and if you get medicated and fall asleep chances are when you wake up your not medicated anymore so these drug testing laws do more bad than good too since many lose their jobs to this." makes no linguistic nor logical sense. I think it is most certainly appropriate, living myself in a country with a large mining industry in which the workers are tested regularly and if tested positive will loose their job as they are endangering others, that there is a penalty for driving under marijuana influence, as it is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

I agree that synthetic marijuana is dangerous, but so is the real stuff. Also, as I have proven above, marijuana has killed plenty of people, indirectly.

On the other hand there is a supposed increase of 75-289%, also including many kids. Stating that kids would not have access is incorrect, as shown once again by the case of Colorado, with an 26% increase in youth (12-17 years old) marijuana use since legalization. As I have also already stated there was an increase of 32% drug related suspensions since legalization. As I also have already stated, there is a difference in marijuana usage in legalized states to non legalized states, a 40% difference, meaning that there are 40% more teen marijuana users in states were marijuana is legalized than in other states. Also to note, that the top 16 states with monthly teenage marijuana use in 2012 were all states in which medical marijuana was legalized, with many having an over 100% difference than non medical marijuana states.
This should prove the statement of restricted sale incorrect. In fact, teen users would increase dramatically.

I will not argue that drug education is far from perfect, but this is often caused by uneducated pro marijuana advocates as well as their con counterparts. The thing is that experience does not necessarily create knowledge, meaning that only because you have smoked marijuana a couple of times does not mean you know anything about health issues or anything else like that, though this seems to be the opinion of many pro marijuana advocates.

As for your Mexican statement, marijuana has been in U.S. history since as early as 1619 when by decree of King James I every colonist had to plant 100 plants for export. Marijuana was not brought from mexico, it was well present in society and used. The prohibition in the 1930's was a response to apparent increased usage of marijuana by teenagers of the time. And I am sure that teens pre the 20th century would have used it.

The main source I used for this was a case analysis of the Colorado legalization. This is an unbiased source providing statistical evidence.
(http://www.rmhidta.org...)

In conclusion pro was not able to refute any of my statements brought forward in my opening statement and seemingly acted more with opinion than actual scientific evidence.
Furthermore he was not able to dismiss the economics I proposed in my opening statement, nor had any comment about any of the health issues proven by science but seemingly just put out opinion, which thus refuted the majority comments he made in the 2nd round already in my opening statement without pros comments even been having made at the time.
Debate Round No. 2
SolidTony77

Pro

SolidTony77 forfeited this round.
WAM

Con

Hereby I would like to summarize my conclusions in this debate with the theme "Cannabis Legalization" in which I represented to Con side.

I will keep this summary short and will not include unnecessary rebuttals, as Pro was not able to provide any evidence as to positive effects of Cannabis legalization nor did pro do a rebuttal of any of my arguments, but left them unchallenged.

Thus I would like to summarize, as established in 2 rounds of debate and after several hours of research, using non-biased, statistical evidence that Cannabis legalization does not provide any benefits to Society nor Humanity.

1.) Apparent Medical Properties.
I will not deny that certain cannabinoids, if administered correctly (thus not smoking) could help with certain health issues. Smoking Cannabis, however, which is the most used method of Marijuana use is unhealthy. It is proven to cause cancer. Marijuana use in general is proven to reduce IQ in mature users as well as hinder important brain development in using teenagers, making them dumber than their non using counterparts and is well known to cause mental illness such as Schizophrenia as well as cognition impairment and memory loss.
This means that Marijuana should not be given to people for 'health reasons', or any other reasons for that matter.

2.) Hemp usage and connected economy to Hemp.
Hemp is already a well used resource. Demand, and as such supply has decreased drastically in the 60's due to synthetic fiber, but is starting to have a 'comeback'. However, the U.S. would have to fight for the market as it is dominated by China. Also it should be noted that the most used Hemp plants do not contain THC and as such, could be legalized on its own. This however is a different debate. The Cannabis legalization debate has more to do with drug use than economic production of hemp and as such Cannabis should not be legalized.

3.) Economy from production of Marijuana
A well favored argument of all pro legalization supporters. However, when exact numbers are investigated, such as in the case of Colorado, a Medical Marijuana State, the economy is quite different than pro legalization would want. Fees on enforcement, that now would apparently be gone are spent on medical aid, such as hospitals and psychologists, more drug education and the liking, thus creating a possible minus here. Taxes through sale and such are negated by lost labor and in-productiveness, as well as a general 'dumber' population, meaning a decreased economy, most certainly in the minus. This as such means that it would not be economically intelligent to legalize Cannabis as a whole as it would create a minus in the economy, not a plus.

4.) Marijuana is not harmful
A well liked statement of the pro legalization community, though, as stated above already Cannabis can cause severe health issues. I would also like to refer at this point to the 100% increased road fatality rate connected to Marijuana in Colorado post legalization. A shocking increase that is not unrelated, as the number of road fatalities decreased by 14.8% in the same time frame. Furthermore, though unrelated to this, Denver experienced an increase in crime as well as arrestees influenced by Marijuana post legalization.
This concludes that Cannabis is not as 'harmless' as many people want it to be.

5.) Marijuana would be unavailable to teenagers
In fact, states that have legalized Marijuana have 40% more teenagers using Marijuana than non Medical Marijuana states.
This thus means that legalization actually makes it easier for teenagers to get access to Marijuana, not the opposite, as always stated.

6.) Free will
Though I agree that people should have a free will to do what they want to, the issue here is that with legalization and lost labor people will turn to welfare. If there was no welfare for lazy stoners (and in fact I know quite a few ones on welfare) this would not be such a grand issue. But unfortunately they'd get welfare. And as such I most definitely do not support legalization. Also as to the point of not being controlled by their habit, Marijuana is addictive with a large amount of heavy users having withdrawal symptoms.

7.) Other drugs are more dangerous
What a stupid argument. Does this mean we all have to use Cocaine because some idiots are using Heroin? Why do people need to justify destroying their health because someone else is apparently doing something worse? What a logic is this? When I used to smoke I knew I was an idiot for doing it, which is why I stopped. Instead of trying to justify something that destroys your body just accept that it is stupid and not worth it.

Pro did not provide any evidence as to the above claims, but seemed to have simply stated his opinion. Con provided statistics and other evidence.

As such I remain with my starting opinion, that Cannabis should most definitely not be legalized, as it creates no benefits.

Kind regards for the Debate, thank you for your votes, WAM
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
SolidTony77WAMTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff...good points con, but I could beat them.
Vote Placed by PatriotPerson 1 year ago
PatriotPerson
SolidTony77WAMTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con because of Pro's FF. Con gets Arguments for this reason too, because it left many of Con's statements to go un-refuted by Pro. Sources to Con because he used places like pewresearch and WebMD while Pro used sources like pot-heads.